directed by Ruben Fleischer
(Sony, 2009)

The moment I saw the trailer for Zombieland, I knew I had to see the film. Of course, I knew some of the best bits were in that short ad, but I laughed so hard in those few minutes, I was hoping the rest of the film would be half as good.

Because of their poor dietary habits (and poor knowledge of horror films among CDC workers), Americans have fallen prey to the zombie virus. It started when one woman got an infected burger and it quickly spread before anyone could gain control.

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has always been a highly phobic loner, which stood him in good stead for the onslaught of the zombie virus. He's got a few rules that help him survive. Among them are cardio (because if you're not in shape you cannot outrun the zombies), fasten your seatbelt and don't be a hero. There are about 20 other rules and, for the most part, he keeps them.

He meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) on the way from his college in Austin, Texas, to his home in Columbus. The mismatched pair opt to travel together until Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) cheat them out of their car and eventually con them into traveling to California because they believe an amusement park is the last bastion of civilization.

They battle their way across country on the quest for supplies and Twinkies to ease Tallahassee's odd craving. In their travels, they encounter only one other live person, Bill Murray (as himself). Along the way, Columbus learns how to "nut up" (in Tallahassee's parlance) and be a part of their loosely knit unit.

I'm not generally a fan of horror, but the trailers to this film sucked me in and I'll honestly say Zombieland was just as funny as the trailers promised. There are heavy sections of zombie-splatter, but nothing disturbed me badly enough to leave. By the time the film was done, I had laughed so hard my sides ached and I just left for the mundane world feeling a whole lot lighter. Yes, there is a light romance line between Columbus and Wichita, but there's more of a family feel to the odd quartet's relationship. If you are a fan of campy horror and you don't mind a bit of splatter, you're going to enjoy this film.

review by
Becky Kyle

20 August 2011

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